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The Austro-prussian War (seven Weeks' War)

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The Austro-Prussian War or Seven Weeks’ War was the war between the Austrian Empire and Prussia to determine the fate of Schleswig and Holstein and which country should control Germany. It was also the second of the three major wars that led to the creation of Germany as a single state. It was provoked by rivalry between Prussia and the Habsburg monarchy over supremacy in Germany.

Over the winter of 1865 to 1866 the relationship between Prussia and Austria had deteriorated sharply. If there was to be a war, it would be fought not just to settle the fate of Schleswig and Holstein ( Prussia was in control of Schleswig and Austria in control of Holstein.) but over the issue of who should control Germany. The Prussian government accepted that war with Austria was inevitable. It ended in a Prussian victory, which meant the exclusion of Austria from Germany.

The major result of the war was a shift in power among the German states away from Austrian and towards Prussian hegemony, and impetus towards the unification of all of the northern German states. Prussia’s victory also lead to The Treaty of Prague in August in 1866, where Austria agreed to Prussia’s annexation of Schleswig and Holstein, the German Confederation was replaced by a North German Confederation comprising all the German states north of the River main in a union dominated by Prussia and Austria surrendering Venetia to Italy October 1866.The Zollverein German customs union established in 1834 under Prussian leadership. This idea was brought up in 1818 when Prussia announced how open they were for free trade with other states. It created a free trade area throughout much of Germany and is often seen as an important step in German unification. It was a German trading union that allowed free trade throughout the German states. It happened because the German Confederation helped with unifying Germany, but also the new German States got a sense of nationalism for their new found countries and cultures. This helped create the Zollverein.

The Zollverein was very significant because it was a German trading union that allowed free trade throughout the German states. This lead to resources from each state could be shared quickly between the other states. Then this lead to the experience of each state’s culture, this developed a new sense of nationalism. The Zollverein abolished international tariffs this lead to a higher rate and higher economic growth. The Zollverein overall was a bigger version of the Prussian Customs Union, including far more German states. Otto Von Bismarck Born“ Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” – Otto Von BismarckBorn in Schönhausen, Germany Because his parents wanted another son.

This was significant because Otto Von Bismarck was the man who did most to unite the German states. He wanted to strengthen the position of King Wilhelm I, to counter the demands for reform from the Liberals in the Prussian parliament, to His primary aims were to: unify the north German states under Prussian control weaken Prussia’s main rival, Austria, by removing it from the Bund, make Berlin the centre of German affairs (not Vienna), strengthen the position of the King of Prussia, Wilhelm I, to counter the demands for reform from the Liberals in the Prussian parliament (the Reichstag).A year after Wilhelm I became the King of Prussia, he appointed Bismarck as his chief minister. Bismarck was actually in charge, as King Wilhelm I was manipulated by him. Bismarck stirred political tensions between France and Prussia, later on leading to the Franco-Prussian war where the French declared war, but the Prussians were victorious. After, Wilhelm I, was crowned emperor of a unified Germany. With Germany unified, Wilhelm I and Bismarck took advantage of their domestic power.

According to the “For much of the 1870s Bismarck pursued a cultural struggle against Catholics, who made up 36 percent of Germany’s population, by placing parochial schools under state control and expelling the Jesuits”. Bismarck also set up the North German Confederation. The North German Confederation was the alliance of 22 states of northern Germany with the Kingdom of Prussia as the leading state, which was formed in August 1866 (New World Encyclopedia). It was later, in modified into a combined state. It gave Germany a constitution and was the building block of the German Empire.

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